Mortal Kombat, Arcade

Mortal Kombat is a legendary arcade fighting game, created and manufactured by Midway in 1992.

The game is infamous for a number of reasons.

Firstly: Mortal Kombat is notorious for its violence. It’s a satirical, horror film type violence, but the game is bloody nonetheless. Each playable character also has a hidden ‘Fatality’ finishing move, some of which are very gory, and others are just plain hilarious.

Secondly: although it wasn’t the first game to use digitised graphics, it was the game that popularised the technique. Many other game designers started making Mortal Kombat clones after they’d seen the graphics.

Thirdly: it was one of the first beat ’em ups to feature a shaking landscape. When a combatant is thrown to the floor, for example, the whole screen shakes. This adds real weight to the action and also makes the fights more dramatic. It’s a small but important feature.

Lastly: Mortal Kombat is hard! It’s a six-button fighting game, so not always easy to remember to use block, which is essential. In order to reach the final boss – Shang Tsung (definitely a ‘tribute’ to Lo Pan from John Carpenter‘s 1986 film Big Trouble in Little China) – you must first beat the other six fighters; then a mirror or yourself; then survive three endurance matches; then beat Goro, the four-armed half man, half dragon. It’s a very tough ask…

Regardless, Mortal Kombat is a memorable game to play. It’s fast; it’s over-the-top, it’s outrageous, but most of all it’s extremely playable, very challenging, and great fun.

More: Mortal Kombat on Wikipedia

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